Tag Archives: Azerbaijan


February 22, 2018


On 21 February 2018, the preliminary hearing of Yalchin Imanov was concluded in the Ganja City Administrative – Economic Court.

On 20 November 2017, Azerbaijan’s Bar Association suspended human rights lawyer Yalchin Imanov from practising law, pending a court ruling, following a complaint from the Penitentiary Service of Azerbaijan. On 10 August 2017, the Deputy Chairman of the Penitentiary Service of Azerbaijan stated, in a letter of complaint to Azerbaijan’s Bar Association, that Yalchin Imanov had been circulating false information through the press. The complaint refers to the human rights defender allegedly disseminating false information regarding allegations of torture of two of his clients in detention. Yalchin Imanov was also accused of creating negative public opinion of the work of the Prison Service.

At the hearing, the human rights lawyer emphasised that the Administrative Procedure Code did not contain any relevant provisions for a hearing on the decision of the Bar Association and therefore an administrative court is not the correct forum for a hearing on his case.





http://www.barassociation.az/ (AZERBAIJANI)


Azerbaijan: Risky Business: Defending Azerbaijan’s Opposition

February 5, 2018

Lawyer Yalcin Imanov doubts he will be allowed to practice law in the future. "I don't have any hope for a fair ruling."

A prominent lawyer spoke openly about the beating of his client while in custody, perhaps thinking that it could stir change in Azerbaijan.

Action was taken in the authoritarian country, but not against the police suspected of carrying out the beating. Instead, it is the whistle-blowing lawyer who finds himself being punished.

Shortly after speaking out, Yalcin Imanov, who has defended a number of government critics, was suspended by the Azerbaijani Bar Association. He awaits a final decision this month on whether he will be formally disbarred.

With the Bar Association refusing to release any documents on its decision, Imanov and others strongly suspect the action is tied to his work. “I’ve asked for a copy of the decision on terminating my practice and a transcript of the session when the decision was made,” Imanov told RFE/RL’s Azerbaijani Service. “But so far I’ve heard nothing back.”

It wouldn’t be the first time a lawyer has been singled out in Azerbaijan, which has been led by authoritarian President Ilham Aliyev since 2003.




Egypt/Day of the Endangered Lawyer/Ireland: Bar denounces mistreatment of lawyers in Egypt, Turkey, China, and Azerbaijan

January 24, 2018

Irish Legal News - Legal News, Events & Jobs across Ireland

The Council of The Bar of Ireland has written to the embassies of Egypt, Turkey, China and Azerbaijan to condemn the harassment, imprisonment and torture of lawyers in their respective countries.

Tom Creed SC, chairman of the Bar’s human rights committee, wrote to the embassies on the occasion of the eighth annual Day of the Endangered Lawyer.

Mr Creed said: “We urgently call upon these governments to cease their campaign of persecution against the legal profession.

“The present course can only lead to further international isolation and to further deterioration of the human rights situation for the people of these countries.”

The Bar identified the following cases as cause for concern:

  • Egypt: “Ebrahim Metwally Hegazy, Azza Soliman and Mohamed Zaree. Ms Soliman and Mr Zaree have been prohibited from travelling abroad, and Mr Hegazy has been detained and tortured. They have been targeted for persecution solely on account of their tireless work in protecting the human rights of their fellow Egyptians.”
  • Turkey: “The detention since September 2017 of 14 lawyers from the People’s Law Office, an organisation which represents the victims of police violence and other human rights violations carried out by state officials. It’s reported that of the lawyers, Engin Gökoğlu, was tortured by prison officers while in detention. At the time of these arrests, the number of lawyers under criminal prosecution in Turkey has reached 1,343.”





Azerbaijan: Azerbaijan’s unlucky lawyers

December 21, 2017

Baku-based lawyer Samed Rahimli discusses new changes in Azerbaijan that are set to make life (even more) difficult for the country’s independent lawyers.


Samed Rahimli is a Baku-based lawyer with a long track record of advocacy for detainees in Azerbaijan’s jails. This year, Rahimli co-founded Praktik Hüquqşünaslar Qrupu, an advocacy initiative determined to oppose new changes to Azerbaijan’s legal profession.

On 31 October, Azerbaijan’s parliament approved amendments to the civil code which give the state-controlled bar association full control over practicing law in the country. Azerbaijan’s lawyers are either licensed members of the bar who have had to take a highly politicised examination, or “hüquqşünaslar”, registered lawyers who are not members of the bar, but are entitled to represent their clients in non-criminal cases.

The changes could lead to thousands of lawyers becoming unable to represent anybody in a court of law. Observers have already decried the move as part of an intensifying crackdown on the handful of human rights lawyers who still remain in the country (following the legislative changes, some lawyers have reported being called to their local police stations).

Justice in Azerbaijan has never been easy to obtain. As part of oDR’s series of interviews with human rights lawyers, I asked Samed Rahimli why these changes could make it even rarer.





Azerbaijan: Lawyer Disbarred in Azerbaijan After Filing Torture Complaint

November 27, 2017

Yalchin Imanov.

When a lawyer files a complaint alleging his client was beaten in custody, you would expect it to lead, at best, to justice for the victim, or at worst, to inaction.

In Azerbaijan, that’s sadly not the worst possible outcome. Unless something changes, prominent human rights lawyer Yalchin Imanov is at imminent risk of disbarment for publicizing the beating of his client in custody.

A practicing lawyer and Bar member since 2007, Imanov has defended the rights of many government critics, including award-winning investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova, and several imprisoned opposition members.

In early August 2017, after visiting his client, Abbas Huseynov, in Gobustan prison, Imanov gave interviews to media outlets, saying his client was repeatedly beaten and tortured by the prison staff and put in punishment cells under inhumane conditions. The lawyer reported that multiple bruises were visible on Huseynov’s body, and he could hardly sit and had difficulties walking.






Azerbaijan: Azerbaijan Moves to Drastically Cut Number of Lawyers

November 8, 2017

The Azerbaijani parliament has approved amendments to the country’s civil code that would effectively bar roughly 90 percent of the country’s legal professionals from practicing law. From EurasiaNet.

The amendments, adopted on 31 October, require presidential approval before they go into effect. They would give the state-controlled bar association complete control over the legal profession. Observers, as well as members of the legal community, characterize the move as the latest and most decisive step in an escalating crackdown on the country’s few remaining human rights lawyers.
Less than 24 hours after Azerbaijan’s parliament ratified the changes, several lawyers reported being summoned to their local police stations, where they were told they were no longer licensed to practice law and would be subject to arrest or fines if they continued.
The amendments herald the end of a two-tiered legal system that Azerbaijan adopted under pressure from its fellow members in the Council of Europe. Azerbaijani lawyers are either vəkillər, licensed bar members who pass a series of written tests and a highly politicized oral examination, or hüquqşünaslar, registered lawyers who have not passed the bar but, until now, have been entitled to represent clients in all non-criminal courts.
Under the amendments, an estimated 8,000 registered lawyers stand to be barred from representing clients in any Azerbaijani court, leaving a nation of nearly 10 million people with only 934 registered legal professionals. At roughly nine lawyers per 100,000 people, that would be a ratio that is 18 times lower than the European average, and by far the lowest figure of any Council of Europe member.










China/Turkey/Azerbaijan/Russia etc: Joint Civil Society Petition to the International Association of Prosecutors

September 5, 2017

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Dear members of the IAP Executive Committee and the Senate,

dear members of the IAP,

In the run-up to the annual conference and general meeting of the International Association of Prosecutors (IAP) in Beijing, China, the undersigned civil society organisations urge the IAP to live up to its vision and bolster its efforts to preserve the integrity of the profession.

Increasingly, in many regions of the world, in clear breach of professional integrity and fair trial standards, public prosecutors use their powers to suppress critical voices.

In China, over the last two years, dozens of prominent lawyers, labour rights advocates and activists have been targeted by the prosecution service[1]. Many remain behind bars, convicted or in prolonged detention for legal and peaceful activities protected by international human rights standards, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Azerbaijan is in the midst of a major crackdown on civil rights defenders, bloggers and journalists, imposing hefty sentences on fabricated charges in trials that make a mockery of justice[2]. In Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkey many prosecutors play an active role in the repression of human rights defenders, and in committing, covering up or condoning other grave human rights abuses[3].

Patterns of abusive practices by prosecutors in these and other countries ought to be of grave concern to the professional associations they belong to, such as the IAP. Upholding the rule of law and human rights is a key aspect of the profession of a prosecutor, as is certified by the IAP’s Standards of Professional Responsibility and Statement of the Essential Duties and Rights of Prosecutors, that explicitly refer to the importance of observing and protecting the right to a fair trial and other human rights at all stages of work[4].